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Disruptive VERTIGO End Credits

Robert Harris

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5 replies to this topic

#1 of 6 OFFLINE   Professor Echo

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Posted January 17 2009 - 05:15 AM

Mr. Harris, Were you involved at all in making the decision on the restored VERTIGO to run the "restoration" end credits at the conclusion of the film? I have always thought this was not in keeping with the director's wishes, who, in my understanding, wanted the film to simply fade out to the Paramount logo. This was how it played originally in 1958 and again in the 80's re-release, as near as I can recollect. I personally find the addition of these credits at the end to be highly disruptive to the film's original intention and vision for the climax. I have seen several restorations of silent films and more often than not the new credits run BEFORE the start of the movie, which would have been much more appropriate in the case of VERTIGO. I'm all for credit where credit is due, but I'm not sure altering Mr. Hitchcock's objective in how the film should end was in keeping with what is otherwise an admirable job of restoration. This is something that has bothered me since the restoration was done and I would love to hear your thoughts on it, especially if you have contradictory evidence on how Mr. Hitchcock envisioned the final moments of the film. Thank you for your attention.

#2 of 6 OFFLINE   Mark Anthony

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Posted January 20 2009 - 05:27 AM

I can't see how credits at the end are more disruptive than those at the start, if they bother you that much you could just press stop when the film ends, or walk out of the cinema at that point! M

#3 of 6 OFFLINE   Patrick McCart

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Posted January 20 2009 - 11:55 AM

The UCLA Film & TV Archive and the Library of Congress put their restoration/preservation credits at the front.

#4 of 6 OFFLINE   Mark Anthony

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Posted January 21 2009 - 05:48 AM

That may be the case but I still fail to see how one is more disruptive than the other! Besides the restoration was done over 12 years ago, it's unlikely to be changed now!

#5 of 6 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

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Posted January 22 2009 - 04:30 AM

My personal feeling regarding credits is that they should not appear to be a "presentation" credit, which is at the head end. Our restoration credits always go at the tail. This is not only my read, but that of David Lean, who set not only the placement, but the precise timing of appearance of Restoration credits for Lawrence. We have always followed his lead, both spiritually as well as editorially. We never wish there to be any mis-, or dis-information that might lead anyone to believe that we had created what they had just viewed, but merely removed the dust from the rafters and swept up a bit. The Restoration credits, as well as their placement -- after the end -- seems to make that very clear, and we have standardized in all regards. As far as "Vertigo" is concerned, placement was approved by both Pat Hitchcock as well as Herbert Coleman, the producer. RAH

"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. This I did." T.E. Lawrence


#6 of 6 OFFLINE   Professor Echo

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Posted January 22 2009 - 05:12 AM

Thank you for your response, Mr. Harris. We will have to agree to disagree with your standard practice being applied for VERTIGO. I think in that specific case, with all due respect to Ms. Hitchcock and Mr. Coleman, it does indeed intrude upon Alfred Hitchcock's original intent. Regardless, I try not to let it mar what is otherwise a fine restoration. I personally prefer the restoration credit standards of UCLA and others who opt to place them before the start of the film, but your perspective on the situation is duly noted and certainly not without merit for many, I'm sure.





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